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Melewski interview with Jim Callis


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Part I of a III part interview Melewski has with BA's Jim Callis. I found the following quote worthy:

With the Orioles offense struggling and the O's minors stocked more with pitchers than hitters, I asked Callis if the O's should take a college hitter with the third pick, even if one is not projected to go that high.

"Not at all. If you are picking three and you're the leading contender to pick one the following year, you are there for a reason. It's not because you are popular. It's because your team stinks.

"You are not going to get any better by getting a guy to the big leagues quicker, you'll get better by getting the best player you can possibly get. Andy MacPhail has been around a long time and Joe Jordan is a good scouting director. I don't think they will fall prey to that. I don't see how you can pass on one of the high school kids for any of the college players in this draft."

Callis said it would be a reach for the Orioles to take a college hitter with the third pick.

"No, it's a bad year for college position guys. The best college bats are probably Zack Cox at Arkansas, Michael Choice from Texas-Arlington or Yasmani Grandal of Miami. Picking those guys at three would be a big stretch.

"Let's say you took the best college bat out there, which in my mind is Zack Cox of Arkansas. Realistically he is at least two years away from the big leagues. So it's not like he is going to ride in a horse tomorrow and lead the Orioles to the top of the AL East. In the AL East, you can't be making short-term solutions just to appease your fans."

http://masnsports.com/steve_melewski/2010/06/jim-callis-interview-part-one.html

Edit: This was meant for the Draft Section.

Edit 2: Fixed

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Was Hobgood at 5 a stretch for a team in the ALEast?

I don't think it was a really bad idea. In the AL East you want to try to prevent HR, I think this is why JJ loves GB pitchers, and that is Hobby's best trait I think. Would I rather have had Matzek, sure, but that's no slight at Hobby, I just really liked Matzek's tool-set, I like Hobby as a fit for Bmore in the keep the ball on the ground sense.

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Best part of the article! "If you are picking three and you're the leading contender to pick one the following year" Jamison Tallion and Anthony Rendon will look great in black and orange.

Not just great, but majestic in black and orange. I would love to see this scenario fall for us.

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I don't think it was a really bad idea. In the AL East you want to try to prevent HR, I think this is why JJ loves GB pitchers, and that is Hobby's best trait I think. Would I rather have had Matzek, sure, but that's no slight at Hobby, I just really liked Matzek's tool-set, I like Hobby as a fit for Bmore in the keep the ball on the ground sense.

I agree with this, The Hobgood pick wasn't as bad as people think. I am not saying if all you do is look at the national publications, you are wrong, but I took the info from a bunch of publications and made my own opinions on him based on his stuff and how he and his stuff projects, and his stuff is right up there with the best. Hobby flashed 3 plus pitches according to BA in Bluefield at times without his best stuff and keeps the ball on the ground. There was no Taillon at this point last year for the HS ranks that was a true slam dunk pick IMO. Matzek was very good, but I hang my hat on the fact Taillon already has(raw stuff-wise) what you would hope for best case to come from Matzek's projection in his stuff.

Compare Hobby and our top SP prospect and similar type of pitcher Zach Britton. Similar FB velo and movement(Britton's is better now, but wasn't at the same point in their development), Hobby right now has the better curve(to ZB's slider) and both are working on their changeups which Hobby's flashed plus and ZB's I have never heard being that good. Give him a chance to develop like we did for ZB....

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I agree with this, The Hobgood pick wasn't as bad as people think. I am not saying if all you do is look at the national publications, you are wrong, but I took the info from a bunch of publications and made my own opinions on him based on his stuff and how he and his stuff projects, and his stuff is right up there with the best. Hobby flashed 3 plus pitches according to BA in Bluefield at times without his best stuff and keeps the ball on the ground. There was no Taillon at this point last year for the HS ranks that was a true slam dunk pick IMO. Matzek was very good, but I hang my hat on the fact Taillon already has(raw stuff-wise) what you would hope for best case to come from Matzek's projection in his stuff.

Compare Hobby and our top SP prospect and similar type of pitcher Zach Britton. Similar FB velo and movement(Britton's is better now, but wasn't at the same point in their development), Hobby right now has the better curve(to ZB's slider) and both are working on their changeups which Hobby's flashed plus and ZB's I have never heard being that good. Give him a chance to develop like we did for ZB....

Actually, the Hobgood pick looks worse now than when it was made, and it looked pretty bad even then. Right now, he's the 5th pick in the nation that is not thriving in Low A. Right now, he's a guy by most accounts that has lost 4 - 5 mph off his fastball. He most certainly has not lived up to his draft status. Not his fault. Joe Jordans fault.

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Actually, the Hobgood pick looks worse now than when it was made, and it looked pretty bad even then. Right now, he's the 5th pick in the nation that is not thriving in Low A. Right now, he's a guy by most accounts that has lost 4 - 5 mph off his fastball. He most certainly has not lived up to his draft status. Not his fault. Joe Jordans fault.

I'm not that worried about Hobgood yet.

He's likely working on mechanical things now that might take him a bit to adjust and get his velocity back.

Now...if we're hearing the same things next year, then I will be worried. Right now, he's doing fairly well in low A as a 19 year-old. Nothing wrong with that.

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Actually, the Hobgood pick looks worse now than when it was made, and it looked pretty bad even then. Right now, he's the 5th pick in the nation that is not thriving in Low A. Right now, he's a guy by most accounts that has lost 4 - 5 mph off his fastball. He most certainly has not lived up to his draft status. Not his fault. Joe Jordans fault.

He is a low 90's guy that can touch higher, this year for the most part I have been hearing him pitching in the low 90's. From everything I have heard, he is a couple MPH from reports that had him maxing out at 95. Thriving in low A? He is 19 years old and took a VERY big jump from Bluefield to Delmarva. He is one of the younger pitchers in his league right now facing much older competition. He actually had been pitching pretty well until his last 4 starts, I'd agree with you if stats mattered a month and a half into the season, but they don't, or else Matusz would have been sent back to the minors.

If you look at every other "highly rated" HS pitcher ranked ahead of Hobby, he is doing pretty well. He has some stuff to work on, most definitely, but who doesn't when you are 19?

I am just gonna stop right here, because nothing else can be done or said to make you see how wrong you are until Hobgood actually makes it to Baltimore(which is when you finally shut up about how bad JJ was for picking Matusz over Smoak)

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I agree with this, The Hobgood pick wasn't as bad as people think. I am not saying if all you do is look at the national publications, you are wrong, but I took the info from a bunch of publications and made my own opinions on him based on his stuff and how he and his stuff projects, and his stuff is right up there with the best. Hobby flashed 3 plus pitches according to BA in Bluefield at times without his best stuff and keeps the ball on the ground. There was no Taillon at this point last year for the HS ranks that was a true slam dunk pick IMO. Matzek was very good, but I hang my hat on the fact Taillon already has(raw stuff-wise) what you would hope for best case to come from Matzek's projection in his stuff.

Compare Hobby and our top SP prospect and similar type of pitcher Zach Britton. Similar FB velo and movement(Britton's is better now, but wasn't at the same point in their development), Hobby right now has the better curve(to ZB's slider) and both are working on their changeups which Hobby's flashed plus and ZB's I have never heard being that good. Give him a chance to develop like we did for ZB....

Please provide a link please.

I heard of 2 projectable pitches (fb and curve). If you are saying his change, that is a big big stretch. Plus, was he even flashing a plus fb last year when he wasn't even hitting 93 last year?

I love your optimistic view on all O's. :D

I need you when I am having performance reviews.

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Please provide a link please.

I heard of 2 projectable pitches (fb and curve). If you are saying his change, that is a big big stretch. Plus, was he even flashing a plus fb last year when he wasn't even hitting 93 last year?

I love your optimistic view on all O's. :D

I need you when I am having performance reviews.

I'll give him the 2S for the great sink even with the lower velo. Curve has some real potential as an outpitch, but i think that is what they are working on this year if memory serves. Change though...yeah, I'm with you, that's a serious stretch, I don't think I'd ever say he's flashing 3 plus.

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I'll give him the 2S for the great sink even with the lower velo. Curve has some real potential as an outpitch, but i think that is what they are working on this year if memory serves. Change though...yeah, I'm with you, that's a serious stretch, I don't think I'd ever say he's flashing 3 plus.

Yup. I will give him the 2S with the sink. I did hear about his curve having "potential" for being plus back in high school.

Maybe he gets the final plus:

- because his 2S is a plus plus :)

- because even though he has the possible feel for a change, it "could" be plus if the moons align

- his mental make up is a plus by itself

Guess I am an realist, not a dreamer.

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I'm not sure what Callis means here as nobody is looking for a college bat to be ready in 2011, but a HS bat or arm likely won't be ready for 4 years if they even make it.

Cox is said to be better defensively at 2B and last time I checked that wasn't exactly a real big source of depth in this organization.

Chase Utley was taken by the Phillies with the 15th pick in the 2000 draft.

Brian Roberts was taken by the Orioles with the 50th pick in the 1999 draft.

So while a college bat may appear to be a reach, they can be a much better pick than the HS bat or arm that gets picked ahead of them solely because they have a higher ceiling.

I think people really need to step back and realistically look what will have the best chance in our system and what will be able to help Baltimore the quickest.

Ususally you don't draft for need, but the Orioles have made the draft their sole pipeline for amateur talent coming into the system besides trades and when you do that, you can't miss...

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